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Everyone's a critic . . .

Laying in the dark tonight at bedtime, listening to the rain, when this conversation starts.

Mister 9: Mum, I need to hire an artist.

Me: I'm an artist.

Mister 9: No, a real one.

Mister 5: Yeah, a REAL one Mum.

Me: What for?

Mister 9: I want my portrait painted.

Me: I can do that.

Mister 5: No she can't, she can only paint shings, animal shingees and stuff.

Mister 9: Can you, like a proper painting? Like peoples faces and stuff?

Me: Yes, but you have to sit still.

Mister 9: Like the Mona Lisa?

Me: Yes, if you want.

Mister 9: I want it on the wall in the lounge, covering a wall safe. Then I can put my life savings in there and my valuables.

Me: Right, of course.

Mister 9: How long will it take?

Me: Months.

A quiet few minutes pass. Mister 5 has dropped off to sleep.

Me: Goodnight, I love you.

Mister 9: Can you start on Saturday?

Me: Yep.

In light of the lack of any substantial paid work at the moment, looks like it's time to break out the egg tempera. See below for the hastily drafted concept sketch. I'm on it.

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